Vitamin B12 is a compound, the health properties of which are hard to overrate. Vitamin B12 soothes nerves, increases immunity to stress, prevents anemia and improves appetite. Moreover, it may decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and mental diseases. Check out some other properties of vitamin B12, where it may be found and how to dose it.
Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin or red vitamin, is a compound, the health properties of which are invaluable. Vitamin B12, similarly to other B-group vitamins, positively influences mental health. It is also essential for the proper functioning of the circulatory and digestive system. Scientists prove that vitamin B12 may also protect from Alzheimer’s disease, cancers and mental diseases.
Vitamin B12 is responsible for the proper functioning of the nervous system in a few ways. Primarily, by the active influence in the biosynthesis of nucleotides and choline being the component of the myelin sheath, which surrounds nerves. Therefore, in case of vitamin B12, there are some disturbing signals in the nervous system, such as numbness and tingling, especially in lower limbs, balance and walking disorders.
Moreover, the “red vitamin” takes part in processing proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy. Therefore, it counteracts weakness and the feeling of fatigue. Moreover, it prevents memory loss and increases concentration abilities.
Vitamin B12 also takes part in the synthesis of serotonin – a neurotransmitter, which, in proper concentration, has anti-depressant effect. If the level of vitamin B12 (and consequently – serotonin) is too low, irritation, fatigue and bad mood appear.
Increased need for vitamin B12 is observed in bowel diseases (Whipple, Zollinger–Ellison syndrome), disorders of the intestinal flora (also in case of the presence of parasites), in atrophic gastritis, overproduction of hydrochloric acid, deficiency of the Castle factor and in case of using some drugs.
In case of the increased need for vitamin B12, daily doses are higher, e.g. in case of Addison’s anemia without neurological symptoms: 250–1000 μg/d every second day for 1-2 weeks. In case of vitamin B12 deficiency after stomach resection or as a result of absorption disorders: 250–1000 μg 1 ×/month.
Vitamin B12 may prevent anemia and atherosclerosis.
Vitamin B12 takes part in the production of erythrocytes in bone marrow. Therefore, its deficiency may contribute to the appearance of anemia resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency (Addison’s anemia).
Moreover, vitamin B12 along with folic acid and vitamin B6 prevents the aggregation of homocysteine – a substance occurring during reproducing proteins in the organism, the excess of which may be harmful to health and cause circulatory diseases. Homocysteine contributes to the creation of atherosclerotic plaques in the inner parts of blood vessels and consequently – it increases the risk of cardiovascular system diseases: heart attach, stroke or thromboembolic lesions.
It is worth knowing that in order to prevent hyperhomocysteinemia, it is recommended to use 400 μg of folic acid, 3 μg of vitamin B12 and 2 mg of vitamin B6 per day.
Vitamin B12 may support the treatment of liver inflammation.
Vitamin B12 may support the treatment of viral hepatitis type C, as Italian scientists claim in the “Gut” journal. According to them, vitamin B12, when included to standard therapy, i.e. interferon and ribavirin may increase the chance to get rid of HCV virus from the organism. Standard treatment eliminates HCV virus from the organism in ca. 50% of patients with genotype 1 and in 80% of patients with genotype 2 or 3.
Vitamin B12 – the symptoms of deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin B12 causes:
disorders in the nervous system
pernicious and megaloblastic anemia
degenerative lesions in the mucous membrane of the stomach
Vitamin B12 – where are the highest amounts of this vitamin?
Vitamin B12 may be mainly found in products of animal origin, i.e. meat, fish, milk, eggs, cheese and cooked meats. The largest amounts of vitamin B12 are in pike as well as liver and kidneys (more than 20 µg/100 g). A little less is found in other fish, such as herring, trout, mackerel and in rabbit’s meat (from 5 to 20 µg/100 g). The lowest amount (less than 1 µg/100 g) of vitamin B12 can be found in egg pasta, cooked meats, gammon, milk and its products (yogurt, kefir, curd cheese, cream).